Sunday, December 28, 2008

Walking on...

I have walked on... to

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Before I go any further, let me remind the readers that what I put on this blog are opinions(informed ones ofcourse!)..They should not and are not to be associated with any official positions that my organisation or other affiliations may have.

Google has its own browser now!! Now, why doesn't that surprise me anymore ;-)

I have downloaded Chrome-Beta and must admit to generally liking it..more from the 'no non-sense' design perspective.. I like the concept of using  the browser as a window to many other applications..not a window with too many buttons and options embedded..

Google never seems to respect volatile memory( As a system designer , I like that!).

Looking at the  memory usage on my laptop, I can see that each tab is a seperate process and a fairly memory hungry one at that!

I find Google's product management approach very curious.. Amongst the current breed of technology product firms, Google and Apple have contrary but pointed approaches. Google's approach seems to center around creating an aggregating structure that overlays branding and functional product concepts on to a distributed set of products. Apple, on the other hand, seems to focus on creating an ecology based on intellectual property ,uniqueness focussed design and excellent time-to-market.

It will be interesting to see( or maybe build ;-) ) , a product focussed firm that merges best of these 2 approaches!

P.S . ..In view of my expanding and increasing interest in Product management,I'll try and include product strategy related blogs here!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Building competencies

"After taking the initial experience of working in the HR Team of one of India's top IT cos, is it wise to switch to a smaller co in a different industry where one can get exposure to entire gamut of HR activities rather than being stuck at handling particular activity in the current organization? Would it help in the long run to look for such an opportunity ?"

Got this question from a friend of mine.

My answer to this one will be ' Depends'.

Depends on what kind of experience you gained at the big firm.
Depends on what kind of experience you expect to gain in the smaller firm
Depends on when or why you started feeling ' stuck'
Depends on where you eventually see yourself at the end of the small firm experience.

The HR role at a mega-corp varies considerably from that in a smaller firm...many of the smaller firm's HR strategies have to be tactical EXCEPT those that relate to building an organisational culture...A mega-corp can afford more strategic changes and sustained interventional techniques for cultural changes.

The challenges and gamut of HR activities dont really map well into the definitions of a ' Big ' or 'Small' firm..rather it maps into the lifecycle stage of the company and the product or service it provides. A small startup has different challenges when compared to a small family business. A big services business provides a different set of experiences and learnings compared to a big manufacturing unit.

The other side to culture in a smaller firm, especially one that has a founder member or an entreprenuer at the head, is that these leaders shape the culture for such organisations and often there may be little role for an external HR agent.

It may be a good idea to seek rotation within a mega corp into 3-4 different roles and then make the choice of shifting into a smaller org.

Would it help ? I am not sure that really matters at this stage in your career..

Would you learn a lot, what would you learn, and how or when will you be you prepared for such experience - These are the critical questions.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Talent Myth

Pradyot presents Prof.Moon's notes on decision making here

The Talent Myth is one of the reasons why corporations pursue star CEOs and performers at other levels in orther organisations.. " Deep Smarts " as referred to in the eponymous book by Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap...That's what is needed..the kind of smartness that is rooted in not just the mechanics of how to apply a skill but also in the social, cultural and time context of that skill and its application...

The problem with stars is that they often negate your organisations ability to build a team..Stars get results but often at the expense of sustainable long term growth....However, the strategy of constantly identifying stars to kick off an urgent or critical short term project and then moving in someone with Deep smarts may actually be effective!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Corporations, Organisations and Social Obligations

Spreading the risk.....A very common concept in life.

This common concept is often forgotten in the most man-made catastrophes...Malcom Gladwell's 'The New Yorker' magazine article from August 2006, has a very interesting view of the troubles that General Motors faces here

Protection from social risks associated with life , death , health and disasters are better covered when offset against the largest population available. Commercial entities and organizations can never claim to represent such breadth of population. They can very rarely spread their risks in complementary areas. Except a few multinational conglomerates like GE, most organizations have exposure to a certain type of business, or certain set of horizontally or vertically integrated opportunities. Hence, the notion that a business organization should support social liabilities related to life, death, health or disasters is unfair and unbalanced. I use the word 'support' in deference to the word ' contribute'. Yes, Business and in fact any social entity should contribute a proportionate share to social liabilities. But they should never be allowed or be asked to support complete structures of social liability.

Having said responsibilities like education, environment and research are best supported through combined efforts of business and local governance. These are best managed in goal centered organisations and are forward looking opportunities for both businesses and communities.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Will Millennials Manage? — HBS Working Knowledge

How Will Millennials Manage? — HBS Working Knowledge

My comment on the issue <>

There are ' Millennials' who have ' Had it all' and then there are 'Millennials' who have ' Had not much'...The theories propounded here clearly apply ONLY to those who have had it all...

A miracle of what democracy & liberal education through schools, colleges and universities brings...The magic of the millenials is all thanks to the revolutionary 60s and 70s that brought green revolution, food security and scientific progress to the nations that had democracy and liberal education!

Some of the discussion here tends to forget that through centuries of human existence, the younger people in a society always have speed, agility , new found creativity and faith in the current ideal....The Millenials are no different from the Baby boomers in their 20s and 30s in that aspect. The Key difference is the global perspective spurred by the explosion in communication technology and the economics of cost and market availability..A perspective that spurs willingness to go where they believe their dreams will be fulfilled.

As for the Millenials who have not had much to begin with....globalisation of economies will either turn them to violent detractors or spur them to gain the skills needed to succeed in a global world . And that needs to be the focus of the 'Millenial Have it all's and the 'Baby Boomers' too...If the ones that have been left behind are not brought into this global world, the risk is that you will lose everything...

You cannot manage the 'Millennial's..they are too confident, learning with the barrage of information all over their life and still focussed on finding that can only lead them..This is the age of 'influence' & 'coopetition'..They are yet to get over the fascination for tags, titles and psycho babble descriptions of 'leadership' and ' management'...Sooner than the other generations, they will get over it...because the global system wont allow fluff to float around for too long... The story here is to manage the generation mix..any organisation looking for sustained long term success needs multiple levels of expertise , wisdom and energy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How Should Pay Be Linked to Performance?

A very interesting discussion on Prof.Heskett's HBSWK column - 'How Should Pay Be Linked to Performance?'...You can also find my comments on the site.
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